From being inpatient to bad lifting techniques, here's 5 common mistakes I see in the gym.
1. POOR LIFTING TECHNIQUE:
Being that I educate people how to exercise properly, it makes me cringe whenever I see a fellow patron lifting weights incorrectly. Not only are you increasing your risk of injury, but you're also developing bad habits. This can be due to lack of education on how to properly execute the exercise, or lifting too heavy. It seems like the heavier the weight gets, the worse the technique becomes. Here are some suggestions to consider when it comes to doing an exercise correctly:
Is your alignment correct? In a general sense what I mean by this is the ears should be over the shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over knees, and knees over ankles. If you are doing this you're on the right path.
Are you breathing? Holding your breath while exercising increases blood pressure, and deprives muscles of much needed oxygen. Inhale on the rest period, and exhale during the exertion.
Lower the weight and focus on proper lifting technique.
2. Not having a plan
What are your goals, and how are going to achieve them? Your exercise program should be a direct correlation to your goals whether it's getting lean, losing weight, or increasing strength. For starters, I suggest writing down every workout and recording the sets, reps, and weight lifted to ensure you are progressively overloading to make gains in strength, muscle size, or endurance. Over time this will show if you're making improvements, or plateauing and need to consider making changes.
3. Doing the same old routine
This is the classic law of diminishing returns. If you keep performing the same exercises with the same amount of resistance week in and week out you are going to eventually hit a plateau. Making changes like switching the exercises up, varying the amount of sets and reps, or using a different piece of cardio equipment can help keep things fresh while adding new challenges. Change your program every 4-8 weeks.
For those of you that exercise everyday this is inevitable. I recommend 1-2 days off a week from physical activity. This allows your body adequate time to recover from the abuse (albeit positive abuse) you have put it through. Below are signs that you are overtrained:
prolonged muscle soreness
agitation and moodiness
lost of appetite
5. Expecting instant results
Change takes time, especially with diet and exercise. If weight loss is your goal be patient. Losing weight at a slow rate increases your changes of keeping it off long term. What is a slow rate? 2-4 pounds a month. People who drop 10-15 pounds in a month are usually cutting out something essential form their diet that is not sustainable long term (like carbs or fat).
Be patient and trust the process my friends.